Mariameno Kapa-Kingi (Ngāpuhi, Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa) will contest Te Tai Tokerau for the Māori Party in September, with the unanimous support of party members.
"Mariameno brings a fresh injection of life into Te Tai Tokerau for the Party," president Che Wilson said.
"Mariameno brings a depth of experience from the health and social services sectors to help with understanding the realities of Te Tai Tokerau.
"She has dedicated years of her life working for the kaupapa to empower her people, and we are indeed fortunate to have such an upstanding and experienced representative. We especially look forward to reinvigorating the presence of the Māori Party movement in the Far North. Mai i te Punga o te Waka ki te Hiku o te Ika, ko tātou tēnei."
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Kapa-Kingi has fully invested herself in the health and wealth of whānau Māori, and has spent the greater part of the last two months working alongside iwi leaders in Te Tai Tokerau in the fight against Covid, an experience that she said had further inspired her belief in the power of genuinely Māori leadership.
"I care about strong and fearless Māori governance and leadership, about strong and uncompromising advocacy for and with whānau, and ultimately about never giving up on the fight for what 1835 and 1840 promised," she said.
She also looked forward to the opportunity to work within the Māori Party movement, made up of "brilliant Māori minds", to achieve those aspirations.
"Parliament is sorely missing an unequivocally Māori opinion and analysis, and the Māori Party is the right advocate to bring those things to the House, both fearlessly and relentlessly," she added.
Born and bred in the North, and having spent most of her professional life there working for various iwi constituencies, Kapa-Kingi has also worked in Māori health spaces across the motu, particularly with young Māori suffering mental illness. She helped drive Kāinga Ora, an initiative focused on empowering whānau to secure healthy homes, and more recently has been involved in securing temporary housing for whānau Māori in the North, with the ultimate goal of providing proper and permanent housing.
Kapa-Kingi completed the Māori Party line-up in the Māori electorates for September's election.